Dance

The style was different

Neena Prasad performing Mohiniyattom

Neena Prasad performing Mohiniyattom   | Photo Credit: FARIHA FAROOQUI

Neena Prasad and Prateesha Suresh retell mythological tales imaginatively

Mythological stories were retold enjoyably through Mohiniyattom in ‘Samanvaya’, presented by Neena Prasad, and through the different styles of Bharatanatyam, Sattriya and Odissi in ‘Harihara Tatva’ as exhibited by Prateesha Suresh and her troupe at the NCPA Experimental theatre recently.

Sakhyam, one of the Nava Vidha bhaktis, is about taking the divine spirit as a friend just like the bond between Arjuna and Krishna in The Mahabharata. Arjuna without Krishna is powerless. Tormented, he recalls how Krishna guided him from darkness to wisdom. The sound of galloping horses reminds him of how Krishna was not only a charioteer at Kurukshetra but in life too. Arjun’s inner voice compels him to emerge from this meaningless world and enter into the radiance of Moksha. As he starts this journey, he feels the presence of Krishna alongside.

The friendship of Nara and Narayana was well portrayed with text from Sreechithiran M J and quotes from Ezhuthachhan’s Mahabharata as well as The Gita. The performance was enriched by the music of Changanassery Madhavan Namboodiri and choreography by Neena Prasad.

The tillana, composed by Madhavan Namboodiri , had graceful footwork and glorified Nadaroopa Nataraja.

In the second segment, the concept of oneness of Hari and Hara was delineated through the love story of Usha (daughter of Banasura, a staunch Siva devotee and Aniruddha (grandson of Krishna). Siva and Vishnu, leading two factions, are pitted against each other in a battle and Brahma invokes the Harihara tatva.

Prateesha Suresh depicted this theme through three diverse dance forms, Sattriya, Bharatanatyam and Odissi to establish accord in multiplicity.

A spirited Nilesh Singha brought out the power of Siva through Bharatanatyam movements, while Prateesha displayed elegantly the Komal tandav of Vishnu through Sattriya and Ankur Ballal, through Odissi, visualised the imperial Banasura.

The skilled khol players from Assam twirled in interesting formations, while playing the instruments.

“As a child growing up in Sonitpur, Assam, I heard the story of Banasura, who had imprisoned his daughter Usha in a fortress in Sonitpur. The Kangra paintings of Chamba valley also brought this mythological tale alive,” says Prateesha.

She used these paintings as backdrop, enhanced the dance with music by the artistes from Assam and turned out an aesthetic and alluring performance.

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Printable version | Feb 17, 2020 4:04:43 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/dance/neena-prasad-and-prateesha-suresh-retell-mythological-tales-imaginatively/article19174533.ece

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